5 Study Hacks I Wish I'd Learned Earlier

For those of you who are in college, midterms are coming up, and that can be stressful.  Especially if you're new to college.  Not too long ago, (a.k.a about a year ago) I was a freshman in college, so I get it.  It's scary, but if you have a positive, go-get-'em mindset and a few cool studying hacks, you have more power than you think.  So here are a few cool study hacks that I've learned over the past few years that I now pass on to you. 

1) Studying apps are your new best friend.

If it hadn't been for Quizlet I might not have gotten through Psychology 101 with an A - just saying.  You can create your own flashcards for a class, or you can even find pre-made flashcards from other people who are taking the same subject or class.  They even have a word matching game to make it a bit more fun!  In the first few years of college, a lot of your classes are vocabulary intensive, so this is a great tool to use, and there are countless other studying apps out there.

2) You don't have to read everything.

Now, don't misinterpret that. I highly recommend getting to know your texts as well as possible, but sometimes, you just don't have time to sit down and read the entirety of Dante's Inferno. The good news is, you can often find recordings of classic literature for free on Youtube or Librivox.  My World Lit teacher told me this, and it kind of saved my life two semesters ago when I decided to take two writing-intensive literature classes at the same time... (Don't do it, just don't!) You can clean your room or hit the gym or wash the dishes while you do your homework. Now, who was it that said that multi-tasking was counter-productive?

3) Sleep.

I'm sure you've heard this one before, but if you have the option of pulling an all-nighter or doing a little studying before bed and a little before class in the morning, chose the latter.  A little productive studying goes a lot further than many hours of half-asleep, caffeine-fueled, mindless cramming.  Plus, if you're actually awake during the test, you have a better chance of making educated guesses on the stuff you don't know.  But if at all possible, please study thoroughly beforehand.  Last minute is never fun.

4) Group-notetaking is a win.

A new (and absolutely brilliant) study hack is becoming more and more common in colleges and universities around the world. This hack? Using a group google doc to take notes in class.  That way, if anyone misses class, or misses a piece of vital information, it's right there in the document.  So take initiative - if people in your class aren't already doing it, ask a couple of people to create a virtual study group.  This is one of those things where I think "Gosh, why didn't I do this earlier?!"

5) Get out of the house.

When you're at home or in your dorm, there are a million distractions and reasons not to study. The dishes should probably be done, and is that an extra bag of popcorn? Also, it's been a while since you called your grandma, and you've been thinking about rearranging your sock drawer... Let's be real, you don't really want to arrange your sock drawer, you're just procrastinating! There are probably a dozen or so areas on campus that are perfect for studying. There are few to no distractions, and you'll get twice the amount done that you normally do. So find a couch in the student learning center or a study room in the library and just spend 30 minutes catching up on your anthropology reading or math problem set. I promise it will make a huge difference. 

I really hope that some of these studying tips were helpful or (dare I hope?) life changing for you.  While I am still learning how to study like a pro, these steps helped me get a lot closer to being a pro, and I achieved some good grades using these strategies! If you have any fabulous study hacks, by all means, leave them in the comments below and we can help each other out.

We got this!